Past ‘Meet a Member’ Articles

May 2015
Organists: A Large and Diverse Family

Derek Nickels

I began studying piano at the age of 9 and was thrilled to find something that interested me since sports really wasn’t my thing.  I had always been interested in the organ because of its variety of sounds and really wanted to... Read More ...

April 2015
Out of Africa

Beth Naegele

At the age of seven, I took my first keyboard lessons from my mother on a “pump organ” (i.e. harmonium) in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Africa – my parents were missionaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ... Read More ...

March 2015
Membership in AGO - a Wealth of Opportunities

Steve Folkers

Steven Weyand Folkers

Many years ago I was asked to play a piano solo at the church my family attended, Rogers Park Presbyterian in Chicago.  This was during the summer when the choir was on hiatus, and I had taken several years of piano... Read More ...

February 2015

Jay Peterson

Jay Peterson

We all know that volunteerism has been on the rise for several decades in North America.  Collecting “community service” hours is now even common in secondary and higher education and in courts of justice.  I myself, however, like to believe that participation... Read More ...

January 2015
Solitary Creatures

Jill Hunt

As musicians–organists–church musicians–we are rather solitary creatures.  We have spent much of our lives practicing alone.  We are often the only musician on a church staff. The Guild offers the opportunity to find friends who share dreams, disappointments, and triumphs and colleagues who share like careers. Chapter meetings offer... Read More ...

December 2014
Enjoying the Comradery

As a boy of seven, I began taking piano lessons.  (Mother made me.)  But so did most of the other kids at that time.  Nowadays, kids spend their extracurricular time playing soccer, football, rugby, ice skating, hockey, baton twirling, etc.  But piano? Not so much.  My piano lessons soon... Read More ...

November 2014
A Happy Recollection

Morgan and Mary Simmons

On a bone-chilling January 1, 1963 we arrived in Evanston to make our home, but that frigid reception was soon replaced by the warmth of friendships that quickly developed among the welcoming area organists, who for the most part were... Read More ...

October 2014
AGO membership: Sharing the Riches

Lois-Eve Anderson

The organ has been part of my life since childhood, when my mother took me with her to Concordia Lutheran Church, for her practice as organist for Sunday afternoon Swedish Services, back in the 1930s.  I was allowed to climb aboard,... Read More ...

September 2014
35 Years as an NSAGO Member

Christine Kraemer

I joined the American Guild of Organists North Shore Chapter in 1979.  I remember being inspired and encouraged by mentors and friends Morgan Simmons, Margaret Kemper, and Lee Nelson…..all of us 35 years older now!

Serving on the board several times over the... Read More ...

August 2014
Story of a New Board Member

Sharon Peterson

Sharon R. Peterson

When I began organ lessons at age 12 my teacher, Richard Corbin, recommended two things: 1) Bach’s 8 Little Preludes and Fugues and 2) becoming a member of the local (Jamestown, NY) AGO chapter.  His advice proved especially helpful when there was... Read More ...

July 2014
AGO?  Yes! 43 years and counting ....

Lee Nelson

In 1971, I was appointed organist at First Presbyterian Church of Deerfield, and shortly after, got a call from Morgan Simmons, Dean of the North Shore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  I was familiar with AGO, (I was president of our... Read More ...

June 2014
Why I Am an AGO Member

by Laurie Stivers

Laurie Stivers

My name is Laurie Stivers, and I joined the Northshore Chapter of AGO last year.  I had not been involved with AGO since graduating from college in a previous century. So why did I join and why now?

I was at a... Read More ...

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